Zoological Family Names


These are normally formed from the (Latin) genitive stem of the name of the type genus + idae (the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature specifically says so). There are exceptions for established older names, and there are numerous cases where the name of the type genus has changed after the family name was published, but it's a good idea to take this as the default. As a result, I suspect most of the etymologies you've been adding are incorrect, though mostly from leaving out a link in the chain rather than getting the ultimate sources wrong. In other words, they should say from xxx, the name of the type genus, (from yyyyy) + -idae, where "from yyyyy" is your present etymology. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:05, 21 June 2014 (UTC)Reply

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Could you provide a reference for saying that a moth genus derives its name from Greek for "bear", rather than, for example Greek/Latin for a plant thought to be Inula candida. If you don't have a reference, it would probably take researching the original genus description. DCDuring TALK 02:19, 15 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

Without looking anything up, I would say that it's at least plausible: the caterpillars of several species in the Arctiidae are known as woolly bears because of the long hairs that give them a round and furry appearance. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:27, 15 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
There is no use in Google Books of "wooly bear" before 1815 when Arctides seems to have been named by Leach. Is "woolly bear" a calque of something? I've put in trreq's in a few languages at woolly bear in hopes that we can turn up something. DCDuring TALK 04:08, 15 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
Here's the reference for Arctiidae, it's from the Century Dictionary: http://www.micmap.org/dicfro/previous/century-dictionary/300/1/arctiidae . I'll add it to the Arctiidae page next.
That satisfies the reference need, but I wonder about the truth of the reference. MWOnline gives 1841 for the first use of "woolly bear". DCDuring TALK 04:13, 15 July 2014 (UTC)Reply